Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bandra Mount Mary Festival - It's that time of year in Bandra

Mount Mary Festival - Bandra Fair 2009

It’s that time of the year in Bandra when the festivities take over and make Bandra a colourful place. Khar, Bandra and Santacruz are home of many from varied communities and religions and all festivals like Ganesh Festival, Rmzan, Mount Mary Festival are celebrated with equal enthusiasm.
Mount Mary is an old church situated in Bandra. Bandra Fair is a week long fair held annually in the Bandra suburb of Mumbai, starting on the following Sunday after September 8. It is celebrated to commemorate the Nativity of Mary, mother of Jesus, on September 8. People from all faiths throng to seek her blessing. The streets take on a carnival-like atmosphere, with shops and mini-bazaars offering everything from food, shopping opportunities and joyrides. Street plays, musical concerts, book readings and food festivals (typically Goan) also become a part of the celebrations.
The Bandra Fair is estimated to be around 300 years old. The fair started when a statue of Mother Mary was found floating in the Arabian Sea between 1700 and 1760, which, according to a legend, a Koli fisherman had dreamt about a few years earlier.
Photos from the last Bandra Mount Mary Festival MountMary Bandra, Bandra Fair 2008 Photos.
From Wikipedia:,_Bandra

Mount Mary Church, Bandra

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mount Mary Church
Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount
The Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount, more commonly known as Mount Mary, is a Roman Catholic church in the city of Mumbai,India. The church is one of the most visited churches in the city located in the suburb of Bandra. Every September, the feast of St. Mary is celebrated on the Sunday following 8 September, the birthday of the Virgin Mary. This is a week long celebration known as the Bandra Fairand is visited by thousands of people.

The Church

The church stands on a hillock about 80 metres above sea level overlooking the Arabian Sea. It draws lakhs of devotees and pilgrims annually. Many faithful attest to the miraculous powers of St. Mary. During the Bandra Fair, tens of thousands visit the shrine. The shrine attracts people from all faiths who pray to the statue for thanksgiving or requesting of favours.
During the Bandra Fair, the entire area is decorated with festoons and buntings. Many pitch up stalls selling religious articles, roasted grams and sweets. Stalls sell sticky Goan sweets and wax figures of the Virgin Mary along with an assortment of candles shaped like hands, feet and various other parts of the body. The sick and suffering choose one that corresponds to their ailment and light it in Church, with the pious hope that Mother Mary will consider their appeals for help.

The statue of the Virgin Mary

Although the current church edifice is just 100 years old, the history behind the current statue of Our Lady goes back to the 16th century when Jesuit priests from Portugal brought the statue to the current location and constructed a chapel. In 1700 Arab pirates interested in the gilt-lined object held in the hand disfigured the statue by cutting off the right hand.
In 1760, the church was rebuilt and the statue was substi


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